Christine hails from a humble family of five. She has always excelled in her studies and aced her grade eight exams. In Kenya, your grade eight scores determine the calibre of high school studies you can pursue. Christine’s were high enough to land her a coveted spot at Starehe Girls Centre in Nairobi.
Starehe Girls’ Centre is a university preparatory boarding school for gifted girls from disadvantaged families. Chalice has sponsored Starehe Girls’ students since 2013. Starehe enables girls to study alongside those of more privileged backgrounds; most graduates go on to university.
Christine was among them. After four years of hard work at Starehe, with the help of her Chalice sponsor, Christine was accepted to a B.Ed. program at a university in Nairobi.
The health services at her university advised the young women to do self-breast examinations. Christine followed their instructions, and thought perhaps something was amiss. She was right. It was an abnormal mass.
She looked for medical help, and after six months, her doctor performed an ultrasound and saw that the lump had grown. He advised surgery as soon as possible.
But surgery came at a cost. With only her sponsor for financial support, Christine didn’t have the funds for the operation.
She thought about doing a fundraiser, but by that time there were too many COVID restrictions. She had the option to wait for publicly funded treatment, but the waitlist was for a year, and she couldn’t wait that long.
As soon as the Starehe Girls Centre heard about Christine’s condition, they put forward a request to Chalice for assistance through our Critical needs fund.
Thankfully, Chalice supporters showed their immediate support, and Christine had the surgery. She’s been back for regular checks and ultrasounds ever since and is continuing to heal well.
It has been almost two years since then, and Christine is back to her healthy, energetic, active old self. She began volunteering with youth as a mentor and doing outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain climbing.
“It is our sincere hope that Christine will overcome this illness and will emerge a victor,” writes Sr Jane, Starehe Girls site director. “As a site, we remain indebted for the good will of our sponsors, and the sacrifices you make for the sake of our students. We pray that God will continue to bless them abundantly.”